I know, I know, one shouldn’t generalise. But it seems to me that the main characteristic of children’s and ya writers is their unflagging, generous-spirited support of their peers. When one of our number gets big, we celebrate (sure, there may be the odd green-eyed monster lurking unnoticed, but if there is, people have the decency to cry alone, and not turn irritation into pettiness.) When one of our number is publicly dissed, or kicked in the teeth by a reviewer, a publisher, or a columnist, we rally together. When people are gnashing their teeth over their current work-in-progress, as I am doing now (God! Why can’t I write the book in my head? Why?!), their writing buddies are there to give moral support.
Take this, for example, from the wonderful Simmone Howell.
Poets don’t do this for each other, by and large.* I don’t think ‘grown up’ fiction writers do either.
Sometimes, when I feel discouraged at writing in such an unacknowledged area, and having to put up with patronising ‘tude from folk (and don’t even get me started on being Western Australian!), I remember this. And am grateful.
I wouldn’t swap it for quids.
Happy New Year, everyone, and may all your writing and other dreams come true!
* Disclaimer: some of my best friends are poets.